Perhaps the program presented by Dan Edwards, W5XZ, at the July LETARC Meeting, “EZNEC for Dummies”, stimulated some interest in antenna modeling. There are some fundamental principles that are good to understand to make the process easier. When I began to use EZNEC last year, it seemed to be very confusing in terms, options and controls. I found some articles that went in-depth to explain some basics that were very helpful.
The series, A Beginner’s Guide to Modeling with NEC, covers the use of two popular antenna modeling programs used by amateurs. One is NEC-Win Plus, and the other is EZNEC. The articles explain the difference between the two programs and how to use the basic functions of each. The articles, published in QST in 2000 and 2001, were written by L. B. Cebik (SK), a well-known authority on antennas and many other amateur radio topics. While the manual that comes with EZNEC is very complete, these articles speak in a more descriptive, less engineering, language.
The articles are easily available at the ARRL website, or on the ARRL Periodicals CD-ROMs:
A Beginner’s Guide to Modeling with NEC
Part 1 “Getting Settled and Getting Started” QST November 2000 pg 34
Part 2 “The Ins and Outs of Modeling” QST December 2000 pg 40
Part 3 “Sources, Grounds and Sweeps” QST January 2001 pg 44
Part 4 “Loads, Transmission Lines, Tests and Limitations” QST February 2001 pg 31
Another article that will shed some light on how these programs developed and give some additional information is MININEC: The Other Edge of the Sword, by Roy Lewallen, W7EL. Lewallen is the author of EZNEC and its forerunner, ELNEC. MININEC was an early program that put the power of antenna modeling in the hands of the layman, rather than RF engineers.
Tom – N5KGN